It felt like home. The familiar sounds of clinking glasses, plates and silverware filled my ears. The hustle bustle of tables being bussed and the sweet smell of syrup and fried eggs felt like a diner.
It was clear that everyone walking out the door had loosened their belts in contentment.
The Original Pancake House’s eclectic theme battled old versus new, with modern art hanging on the walls and stainless steel light fixtures hung against a backdrop of teal and black, 50s-style booths and humble wooden tables. Painted railings and a loft-like ceiling on one side of the restaurant left this rather small space comfortably open. One thing that held true to the non-stop breakfast appeal of this place was that even at 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday, patrons were packed together elbow to elbow for the brunch-time fixings.
One thing that was quite evident was that this was a restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere, down-to-earth vibe, and free of even an ounce of pretentiousness. Everyone was there for one thing and one thing only – breakfast.
The Original Pancake House doesn’t cut any corners, with at least 18 varieties of pancakes – from pecan to pumpkin and blueberry to banana, and of course, the old-fashioned buttermilk. They also offer seven kinds of crepes and waffles. And if you like a meal where your stomach can’t catch up to the amount of food your eyes take in, they offer several traditional bacon and egg or sausage combinations. These combos also came with buttermilk pancakes that can be upgraded to any kind your heart desires, or can handle, in full or half stacks.
Of course, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. When my order arrived, before me sat bacon, eggs and a split stack of potato pancakes, served with sour cream and apple sauce on the side. The other half stack was piled high with chocolate chips with a side of whipped cream. Expecting the typical restaurant-sized status quo of bacon and powdery eggs, my breakfast dreams were surpassed by two perfectly made-to-order fried eggs and three thick strips of bacon, more comparable to sliced Christmas ham than your run-of-the-mill bacon.
The four potato cakes – salty, delicious, crispy – while only comparable by the other side-orders on steroids, did not disappoint in quality. My chocolate chip half stack was beautifully served with powdered sugar, with chocolate chips on top instead of within the cakes. These seemed to end up as more of my dessert than anything else. The pancakes themselves were extremely moist and sweet, as if extra sugar had been added just for these in particular. For anyone with a 24-hour sweet tooth, or that loves to sneak sweets for breakfast, this was the most shameless indulgence that I’ve ever partaken in.
Three continental crepes ($7.50) were the specialty that my guest ordered, with a tropical theme of sweet honey syrup and sour cream filling. Those, with no other sides, he was able to finish. I, on the other hand, left with two boxes filled with bacon and most of both types of cakes.
The bill didn’t do much damage either at $30 and change, considering the generous quality-to-quantity ratio of large portions of bacon, eggs and pancakes for about $8.25, crepes, coffee and drinks. If you’re looking to quench a craving for home-style eggs and bacon and a breakfast pastry that leaves you asking for the secret recipe, The Original Pancake House is your desired destination.
The Original Pancake House
370 W. Broad St.
Falls Church, Va. 22046
Sunday – Saturday: 7 – 3 a.m.